An educated and world-renown psychiatrist walks out of a mental hospital to find that someone has stolen one of the wheels from his car. He has a spare tire but the problem is the thief has stolen its four lug nuts as well. The psychiatrist is beside himself. “How can I put the spare tire on without any lug nuts?” he asks out loud in a moment of frustration. A patient from inside the hospital fence calmly replies, “Why don’t you take one lug nut from each of the other three wheels?”
Sometimes the answers to our questions are obvious. Objectively we examine our quandaries and the answers come to us readily. At other times, not so much. We’re at a loss. Maybe it’s a situation that we’ve recently been confronted with. Maybe it’s something that we’ve been on the fence about for years. Often when there are emotions and feelings and lives and relationships involved the lines of right and wrong, what’s best and what’s not, end up very blurred. And too often, we lose our objectivity in the moment.
What does it mean to live a balanced life? Specifically, emotionally and spiritually balanced. Is it possible to be spiritually balanced without being emotionally balanced as well? Peter Scazzero in his book, The Emotionally Healthy Church says “No.”
The balanced life reflects the conscious, concerted discipleship of the follower of Christ. In this we see the direct connection of the relationship that our God grants to humanity through the cross of Christ. Relationship with God. Not ritual with God. And the overwhelming reality of daily living in sync, in step, with Him. The lie we’re tempted to believe is that somehow we can be effective (or as effective) in our ministry to others, especially to those with whom we are closest, without being both emotionally and spiritually balanced.
How many good days have been completely derailed by failing to keep your emotions under control? How many relationships have been destroyed because of selfishness and pride and arrogance? How many potential opportunities for spiritual growth and the furthering of the Kingdom have been squandered because of the inability and refusal of Christians to respond with kindness and grace and love. Our emotional health works in tandem with our spiritual nature. It is the design of God that His Son and His Spirit bring calm and peace where there was once angst and hostility.
Can we like the Apostle Paul say: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)? Do we possess “the peace that passes (that transcends) all understanding” (Philippians 4:7)? Maybe that’s a place to begin….
A balanced life is only created when we walk in sync and in step with our God. And only when we are both emotionally and spiritually balanced. It doesn’t just happen. It takes a conscious, concerted effort. And it takes God leading the way.
Glory to God!